Sunday, December 13, 2009

Using The Secret to Chase Away the Doldrums

Recently I suffered from what I refer to as “the blahs.” The weather is getting colder, the days shorter, and I needed more sleep. During this time, I noticed The Universe kept sending me wonderful moments: My college roommate flew into town, students in my second grade classroom made me pictures with heart-warming messages printed beneath, and my sister was finally over her pneumonia and could take long walks with me again.

Reflecting on these moments, I remembered the teachers of The Secret believe your present is a reflection of your past thoughts and actions. If this is true, then those positive moments were sent my way because I’m usually a happy person. There have been a few occasions where I got the blahs and noticed wonderful moments kept coming my way. It felt as though The Universe was trying to maintain that happy state.

Aside from those touching moments, I needed an extra boost to restore my constant state of happiness. I did what I usually do during these times; I repeatedly watched The Secret DVD or left it running in the TV while I cleaned or cooked. I also listened to the audio version. On my way to work, I held the gratitude rock my writing partner gave me and listed dozens of blessings I am grateful for. Together, my efforts brought me back to my state of happiness.

I am sharing this only because sometimes we all get “the blahs” and need an emotional lift. This worked for me, it might work for you. I hope so.

This holiday season let’s all count our blessings whether you have a gratitude rock or not.

Until next week,
Happy Writing!
Tina LaVon

Sunday, December 6, 2009

You Know You're a Neurotic Writer When...

The Neurotic Writer Shares Her Wisdom
(Just for Laughs)

After reading several episodes of The Neurotic Writer, some of her fans are concerned about heir own mental health. Are you worried that you may have become a neurotic writer?How can you tell?

You know you’ve become a neurotic writer when:

You’re afraid to tell your date you had a “lovely time” because lovely is an –ly word.

You question everyone about critique partners, making sure yours is doing her job correctly.

You check the weather channel twelve times a day because you’re afraid your manuscript might be delayed due to a sudden snowstorm in August. It doesn’t matter that your manuscript was never requested in the first place.

You query your agents based on horoscope compatibility with both you and your target editor.

Your biggest fear is every editor/agent at the conference will slip you a rejection letter under the bathroom stall.

When you have a great idea you’re afraid to tell anyone because you know Nora Roberts is tuned in to the Universe and will somehow get your idea, write the book in three hours, and have it in the stores tomorrow.

You’re convinced the agent turned you down because you sent another agent in the same NY zip code the manuscript last month. In your fantasy, they have become friends and are laughing at you over their cocktails at lunch. (You never know. They could be.)

You are certain every writing organization has a checklist of who is allowed to be published and who isn't based on your picture in your high school yearbook.

If you realized you are indeed a neurotic writer, congratulations! And welcome to the club. Glad to have you. Don’t worry; although your neurosis is incurable, it is harmless, and you’ll be a lot more fun at parties.

Until next week,
Happy Writing!
Tina LaVon

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Promotion Tips


Yesterday, Kim Watters, Carol Webb, and I spoke about using social networks to promote your writing. I want to thank all of you who attended and added to our discussion. It’s amazing how each time we speak we worry we won’t have enough to say, but always run out of time because there really is so much to talk about on this topic.

Here are a few of the tips discussed at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library yesterday.

Do NOT let your promotion efforts take over your writing time. You can schedule promo time for those moments you don’t usually write. You also have to try to do everything in one day. Spread your efforts out over the week.

The four essential elements to promotion are having:
-a website
-a blog
-a Facebook profile
-a Twitter profile

If you read Kathryne Kennedy’s post on Tuesday Sept. 29th she tells you how to set your Facebook and Twitter to feed automatically from one to the other when you post. It also tells you how to feed your blogs into one another.

Blogging – Creating a group blog like the one I belong to at saves time. If you only have a personal
blog you should post at least once a week, two or three times will help generate traffic to your site. (Although I have done this on my group blog – I post on Sundays – I have neglected my other blogs, but plan to get better about crossposting.) I am currently cross posting my group blog posts to my personal Blogger and to my Myspace. If I set the feed correctly it will automatically go to my Twitter.

Offering a service like editor/agent interviews is a great way to encourage readers to come to your blog.

I invented the character The Neurotic Writer for my group blog as a way of
introducing my type of humor to the public. I plan to have enough episodes to
create a book one day.

4. Blog tours are an effective form of promotion. If you read Kathryne’s post on
October 17th you can read where Kathryne went on her blog tour and what she discussed at each site.

To hear more tips, you can listen to our next speech on promotion at the Glendale, AZ Chocolate Affair on February 6th at 3:00. Hope to see you there!

Until next week,
Happy Writing!
Tina LaVon

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Neurotic Writer Meets a Vampire

Welcome to another episode of
The Neurotic Writer
(Just for laughs)

Suzie Writer: “Doc! I think I was bitten by a very HOT vampire! I hope he didn’t
turn me. Do you think I would look good hanging upside down like a bat? I don’t
think I so. What do you wear when you're hanging by beam?”

Therapist: “Before you go getting yourself all upset, remember you once thought
you showered with a werewolf.”

Suzie Writer: “No I didn’t. I snuck out the window to come see you while the werewolf
was showering. Gee! You don’t have a very good memory, do you? Anyway, I met this
vampire at a party last night. I think I attract these men because I am one of the few
who believes in the paranormal. Like I said, Doc, he was HOT!”

Therapist: “A Halloween party? (Her eyes glaze over with a memory from her distant
past.) I suppose this vampire wore a long, black cape with a collar shadowing his strong,
square jaw.”

Suzie Writer: “No. He was dressed as Hannah Montana. If he dressed as a vampire
people might figure out his secret. But I have to tell you; it was oddly erotic to have a
man wearing a long, blonde wig sucking on your neck.”

Therapist: “Just because a man sucks on your neck does not mean he is a vampire.”

Suzie Writer: “It does if he declines your garlic olive and peanut butter appetizers,
avoids sitting in the bean bag chair beneath the cross on the living room wall, and then
sinks his fangs into your neck. (She moves her hair back away from her neck for the
therapist to inspect.”

Therapist: “(Taking a closer look.) Those are mosquito bites. There’s a third one
behind your ear.”

Suzie Writer: “Oh. Never mind. (Stares at the ceiling for a long moment.) You know.
I think the real Bill Clinton was at the party last night. He wouldn’t stop playing with
his cigar and he chased some poor girl wearing a blue dress.”

Therapist: “Sounds like Clinton to me.”

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Creating Unforgettable Characters

Creating Unforgettable Characters

Yesterday, I watched All About Steve, the new Sandra Bullock comedy. Her character, Mary, is both fun and unforgettable.

One secret to creating unforgettable characters is to twist typical stereotypes. Mary is extremely intelligent. She makes crossword puzzles for the newspaper. You would think she should be shy, and wear frumpy clothes with thick glasses, etc. Instead, they made her act like one of the hyper air-heads from Legally Blonde. She constantly gets excited and jumps around.

No frumpy clothes for this girl either. They put her in long red boots and a shag haircut. Reminds me of my blue Go-Go boots and shag haircut of the 70s.

Add talking nonstop, completely uninhibited, with a big heart and you have a fun, unforgettable character.

So…the next time you are creating a character ask yourself, “What would most people assume this character would be like?” Then twist it. Give your character unexpected traits and he/she could become unforgettable.

Until next week,
Happy Writing,
Tina LaVon

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Friends 37 - There are now 1250 Myspace Links

Welcome back for another list of readers and writers you can find on MySpace. This is simply a collection of links, which the owners have agreed to post here for your convience. It is a resource, not an endorsement or a reflection of what I personally read. Each link is live and will take you directly to their profile page on Myspace where you can click on ADD to invite that person to be your friend. Remember, you'll need a Myspace account first. Also, don't forget to add me Myspace does have a limit on how many friends you can add at a time, so I would suggest you begin with my Friends One list and then come back at a later time to go through the next list.
With each posting, I like to introduce readers to an author they might not have heard of before.
The following is a blurb of Hywela Lyn's Science Fiction Romance, Starquest

When Jestine Darnell is rescued from her sabotaged starship by the crew of the Destiny her only objective is to complete her mission and keep her promise to save a world from slavery. Love is the last thing on her mind. However, she has not counted on losing her heart to Kerry Marchant the ship’s second in command, who makes his distrust of her painfully obvious, despite the chemistry between them. The completion of her mission has consequences that neither of them could have foreseen.

Enter Dahll Tarron, who becomes involved in a long and dangerous quest to find the Destiny. Fates become intertwined, perils shared, culminating in the realization that sometimes love may be so close that there is a danger it will not be recognized until it is too late…WEBSITE:

STARQUEST: Available now
CHILDREN OF THE MIST - The sequel to Starquest - Coming Soon DANCING WITH FATE: Available now. Visit my page at
Friends 37 begins with an avid reader

Reader of all genres

Sci-Fi and Fiction Writer

Writer of ancient mystery, history, problem solving,
and ancient conspiracy theories.

Romantic Crush Junkies-- Romance Review

Christian Controversy Writer

Horror Ebook Publisher

Audio Book Producer

Horror Writer

Mystery Writer

Mystery, Romance, and Paranormal Writer

Occult/Murder-Mystery Writer

Romance Writer Poetry Suspense Suspense Suspense Paranormal Ages 18+ Ages 18+ Ages 18+ Plus Fantasy and Reviews Ages 18+

Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto's Weblog

Monday, April 27, 2009

Friends 36 - 1225 Myspace Links

Friends 36 is another list of 25 live links
to Readers, Writers, Reviewers, Librarians,
Publishers and Booksellers on MySpace.

Add them today!
The number of live links on this blog has reached 1225.

Each and every one has agreed to be on this blog to
help you find them on MySpace. Begin with Friends 1
and work your way through all 35 lists. (Simply click
on a link, and it will take you to a MySpace profile page.
Click on ADD, then return to this blog and click on the
next link. Remember, you must have a MySpace account
to do this.)

Want your MySpace link listed?
Add me as your friend
then message me if I don't message you first.

I always enjoy introducing an author you might not have read before.

This week, I would like you to meet Chris Roerden,

author of Don't Sabotage Your Submission

DON'T SABOTAGE YOUR SUBMISSION: Save Your Manuscript from Turning Up D.O.A., by Agatha Award-winning author and triple finalist Chris Roerden, an editor for 44 years--whose free workshops on THE WRITER'S VOICE are traveling the country right now!

For a list of appearances go to

Charlaine Harris says: "Chris Roerden's book is chock full of practical advice for the novice writer. Even seasoned writers could use a copy as a refresher course." Chris spotlights 230 excerpts from 212 authors in this just-released expanded edition of DON'T MURDER YOUR MYSTERY, now covering all genres: romance, romantic suspense, mystery, YA, and more. She analyzes each writing technique that most writers get wrong but each featured author gets right, reviewing each excerpt as a positive example of the specific technique. All 212 authors with excerpts reviewed are listed on

P.J.Parrish, New York Times best-selling author of 9 thrillers, wrote that she'd attended one of Chris's workshops, bought her book, and after reading it went back and rewrote an entire first page.

DON'T MURDER YOUR MYSTERY and its new edition, DON'T SABOTAGE YOUR SUBMISSION, are available through all distributors, so ask for it at your favorite bookstore, library, or online.


This next Friends List begins with my friend Carol's company Bella Entertainment. She is a very talented woman who can create book previews at great prices. Check it out!

Friends 36

New company making book previews at reasonable prices!

Reader of Historical Fiction

Reader of romance/action/mystery/thrillers


Non-Fiction, Autobiographical, Business and Successful People

Dark Stories

Mystery Writer

Romantic Suspense Writers

Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Writers

Science Fiction Writer

Paranormal and Poetry Writer

Romance Writer

Historical Romance Writer

Paranormal Romance Writer



Romance for Ages 18+

Urban/Street Lit

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Friends 35 - 1200 Myspace Links

Friends 35 brings another list of 25 live links to
Readers, Writers, Reviewers, Librarians, Publishers
and Booksellers on MySpace. They want to be your
friend so add them today!
The number of live links on this blog has reached 1200.
Each and every one has agreed to be on this blog to help you find them on MySpace. Begin with Friends 1 and work your way through all 35 lists. (Simply click on a link, and it will take you to a MySpace profile page. Click on ADD, then return to this blog and click on the next link. Remember, you must have a MySpace account to do this.)
Want your MySpace link listed?
Add me as your friend
then message me if I don't message you first.
With each list I enjoy introducing an author you might not have read before. Today, I'd like you to meet Marcia James. Her book is:
Cerridwen Press
ISBN # 9781419956201


DEA agent Domino Petracelli is chasing a career-making promotion and nothing will keep her from getting her man. Okay, so she’d rather infiltrate a Columbian drug cartel than go undercover as a dominatrix at D.C.’s Xecutive Branch sex club. But she’s up to the task. As the leather-clad Mistress Bella, Domino investigates the club’s drug ring while juggling a surreal roster of kinky submissives—and resisting one sexy client who’s not what he seems.

Police detective Dalton Cutter is a man with a mission—avenging his partner, who was murdered investigating the Xecutive Branch. Retracing his partner’s steps, he goes undercover as a club client. Dalton’s handled killers, junkies, and pimps, but can the Alpha-male cop act submissive long enough to fool Mistress Bella? And will their sexual chemistry, crackling louder than Bella’s whip, derail Dalton’s investigation?

At Her Command, a comic romantic suspense, pokes fun at the alphabet soup of D.C. law enforcement agencies. When the DEA, the FBI and the DC police unknowingly put operatives undercover at the same club, sexy sparks fly.

Note: Rated R for Risqué

The book is available in print through Cerridwen Press ( and Amazon (
It is also available in e-book through Cerridwen.

Friends 35 begins with The Kimani Press

Romance Publisher

Borders Books

Romance Reader

Historical Romance Writer Western

Suspense Writer

Writer of Suspense with Romantic Elements

Romantic Suspense

Romantic Paranormal Suspense

Fantasy Writer

YA Sci-Fi Fantasy Writer

Urban Fantasy/Supernatural Thriller


Horror/Suspense Writer

Romance Writer Drama Contemporary

Romance Writers and Reviewer for Ages 18+ Paranormal

Pamela S Thibodeaux NEW MYSPACE

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Next Contest

On June 7th, I will be celebrating the end of another school year by giving away an autographed copy of Liquid Hypnosis to a member of my newsletter group. You can join by clicking on the Yahoo link on the side of the blog. I know it's a bit early to be thinking about summer, but teachers always have it on their minds.